Thursday, May 30, 2013

What I got up to while recovering from surgery... by Ethan Papps

After my surgery I wasn't allowed to go to daycare for two weeks! My Mummy and Daddy are both in new jobs and don't have a lot of leave available so my Grandma came all the way from New Zealand to look after me while I was recovering! It was great spending time with my Grandma!

The first few days weren't too bad, but my throat was way too sore to swallow my dribble... and I was quite tired so I could only play for short periods off time!
Watermelon, yoghurt, water, ice blocks and juice were nice and easy to eat when my throat was sore!
 When I was getting better I needed lots of cuddles with my mum because I didn't feel that amazing!
My Gran and I went for lots of walks, but one day the pram tyre was flat. So I got the pump out and showed my gran how to fix it! My Gran was so impressed with how clever I was!
Each day I had bursts of energy, but would tire quickly. One of the days me and my Daddy played in the rain! I loved it and it reminded me of my trip to NZ.
Mum, Gran and Dad tried thinking up lots of indoor activities for me. We had puzzles, books, movies, building blocks, duplo, played with all my animals and stuffed toys and more.

One of the days my mum made me some play dough food to go in my pots and pans! Yum, Yum, Yum!
My Mum also found a recipe for edible finger paint. So we made it one day and had heaps of fun! Of course I likes to eat it as well!
 My Gran and I played in our sand pit lots!
And we made a gravel pit for all my diggers and trucks!
 My Gran took me to lots of parks and as you can see I was looking better by the day!
I decided that I wanted to play "house" with my mum! It was fun, my mum LOVED it! 
Here I am just having a good time and loving spending more time with my Gran, Mum and Dad!
 On one of the weekends we went to the Zoo. It was the best trip ever! I saw more animals there than I have ever seen!
 We also went to the beach, and as you can see I was basically back to my old self! I had a ball running around on the sand!
 So as you can see I had a great two weeks with my Gran looking after me! My breathing has been much better since my operation and generally I have been feeling better. My sleep has not been so good, but I promise my Mummy and Daddy that I will work on getting better at sleeping during the night for them!!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Growing lemons!

Ethan and Jason bought me a beautiful lemon tree for my first mothers day... I have been waiting all year to get my first lemon from it, checking on its progress every day or two!

Here she is on her first day at Green St:
Here are the first of the blossoms:
 And here is the progression of my prized lemons! The first year has produced two beautiful lemons... ripe for picking right now!
I am very excited about my first lemons from the very special tree! Hopefully we get more of a crop next year!

Ethan's surgery!

 Pretty much since Ethan was born we have been fighting to get a diagnosis for his Darth Vadar breathing. We have seen the GP and After Hours GP dozens and dozens of time, the ENT Surgeon at least 5 times, a general paediatrician, a respiratory paediatrician and a children's sleep doctor (for suspected sleep apnoea). We have had a sleep study, blood tests, chest x-ray, a hearing test and a CT scan done.

The sleep study was negative for sleep apnoea, the blood tests showed low iron but no immune deficiencies, the chest x-ray showed an abnormal left top lobe, the hearing test showed lots and lots of fluid build up but no hearing loss/damage and the CT scan showed up bronciolectasis.

Three weeks ago Ethan had surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids, insert grommets and to do a broncoscopy (to investigate the abnormal chest x-ray).

The surgery was a success and the broncoscopy showed up mild tracheamalacia (floppy trachea), however the surgeon was certain Ethan would grow out of this.

After the surgery we had another appointment with Ethan's respiratory paediatrician and as a result of the CT scan and broncoscopy we have some further tests to do and a 2 month course of antibiotics for Ethan.

Phew.... what a lot going on for a little boy! The good thing is it hasn't affected his development - Ethan is 97th percentile height and 95th weight, he runs, jumps and plays with the best of them. His speech was slightly delayed, but since the grommets have been in he has progressed in leaps and bounds!

Now onto the surgery itself! We arrived at St John of God hospital at 7am and found out we were first on the list (yay - I wasn't keen to try deal with a toddler and nil by mouth for too long).

We had about half an hour in Ethan's room to get him comfortable. Here he is playing cars with Dad.
After a little bit of playing we had to get into our gowns for surgery... as you can see Ethan was not happy at all!
So to distract Ethan we went to the play room and had a little play for 5 or so minutes.... it definitely helped!
Mum can you see my undies in this??
All too soon our time was up... and Ethan and I were wheeled on the bed to the Operating Theatre. Luckily Ethan had no idea what  was going on and just thought it was a fun ride with his mum.

After 10 or so minutes in the holding bay (where I was getting more and more anxious) we walked into theatre. I held Ethan while the anaesthetist held the mask over his face. It was awful.... he was struggling, kicking out, then his eyes were rolling and then he went limp :-( I had to place him on the Operating table and then walk out.... as soon as I left him I just burst into tears.... the nurse escorting me back to the ward was lovely and tried to reassure me... 

Then came the longest hour of our lives!

Jason and I headed to the cafe to try and distract ourselves but even though I knew surgery would be at least 50 minutes I wanted to get back to our room asap in case I missed the call saying he was out.

So we went back to the room and waited, and waited and waited.... after 1 hour 15 I was starting to panic as this was well longer than the estimated surgery time.... 

Not long after, we got the call and I rushed to recovery to be with my boy. As I arrived he was in the recovery nurses arms inconsolable. But the minute I held him he calmed down... he looked at me with such confusion though... as if to say - why am I in so much pain in this awful place. We lay on the bed cuddling for 15 minutes and then Ethan perked up a little. We then got to watch around 15 minutes of Nemo in recovery while the nurses observed Ethan some more.

Finally it was time to head back to the ward... I can't imagine how Jason was feeling just waiting there for us! If it was me, I would have been going crazy out of my mind!

Once back on ward Ethan tucked into yoghurt, toast and juice straight away! Which was a very good sign.

An hour later Ethan's lunch arrived (spag bol, chips, chocolate milk, ice cream and jelly). He ate an awful lot!
 But soon after needed a wee rest! Luckily we had the iPad to play some movies on for him!
So far so good, but the rest of the day pretty much turned to custard. I must have the only baby that does not sleep while recovering! For a while there Ethan was ok just lying in bed, but after 4 hours of it  he was ready for some action. So we walked round and round the ward while wheeling his drip behind him.... after a while Ethan wanted to run and I just didn't keep up with him and he pulled his IV line out it was a blessing in disguise in the end - but at the time there was a lot of blood!

Jason and his mum visited during the afternoon which was a welcome relief! However, during the afternoon Ethan threw a car at me, which split my lip.... then later on, once Jason and his mum had gone Ethan smacked his head up into my chin and I bit through my tongue! It wasn't a great day at all!

When it came time for sleep, out went the bed and in came the cot.... hmmmm not really very inviting if you ask me!

 Ethan didn't think so either! I had real trouble getting him down and rang Jason for some help! We finally got him settled and then of course its time for Ethan's hourly obs!

Ethan was woken during the night for medicine and it took me 55 minutes to get him back down... as soon as I got him down the nurse arrived for the next set of obs. By this stage I had had enough and told the nurse in no uncertain terms was she to go near my wee boy.... she scurried off and left us alone for a few hours! Thank goodness!

The next day we were discharged at 10 and we were both VERY happy to be heading home.  That was not an experience I wanted to repeat!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dinner on Mayling - by Ethan Papps

I love boats! I love them a lot! While we were in Wellington my NanDad took me out on his boat, Mayling. I was very excited about going on my NanDad's boat, even if it was raining just a little!

My NanDad even bought me my very own life jacket to keep me safe.
At first I was a little scared.... and unsure of myself.
But once my Grandma bought out some chips I soon forgot about being scared!
I really enjoyed the wind in my hair as well! 
As we headed out to where we were going to anchor up for dinner we got to see Wellington's new sign... I'm not sure what all the fuss is about!
Soon after I got a little cold, even in my Grandma's very warm home knitted jersey! So my Dad and I sat up the front so I could see where we were going but still be out of the cold!
After a while we arrived at Scorching Bay, my mumma tells me she used to do lots of races here!

So we could stay a while we needed to drop the anchor. I went out the front of the boat to help everyone out!
My Aunty Leza was coming round on her motorbike so we needed to pick her up from the beach. My Dad took me out in the little motor boat to pick her up but I did not like it one bit. I was much happier looking out for my Aunty Leza with my Aunty Mel!
 I can see her Mumma! I can see Aunty Leza coming in for dinner!
 After a yummy dinner of noodles I was starting to get tired. So my mumma and I watched a little bit of Madagascar while everyone tidied up and we started to head back home.

After a while we went back out on deck and got to motor back under the stars! By now I was really enjoying my time on the boat and started yelling out "boat, boat, boat" just so everyone knew how much I was enjoying myself!

I am so very glad that we got to go out on my NanDad's boat!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Zealandia visit

 While we were in New Zealand we braved the rain (a number of times)... this day was to visit Zealandia (the Karori Sanctuary Experience). Zealandia is home to a mix of endangered fauna, protected by a very secure fenceline. I understand there is over 30km of walking trail throughout the sanctuary (we only visited a fraction of that while we were there!).

 Ethan and Jason were very impressed with the birdlife on display (have I mentioned before how much Ethan likes birds.... he shouts out "birbies, birbies" which sounds like boobies, boobies.... slightly inappropriate at times).
Although it was a pretty dismal day there were still a number of great photo opportunities!
 I miss NZ bushland a lot.... photography in Western Australia just isn't the same!

 The whole family enjoyed the visit!
 Tui's are such magnificent birds! There were so many to take photos of and Ethan really was in his element!
 Lucky Ethan was in his backpack, otherwise he would have chased this fellow around for a bit!
 Here are a few more photos from the day...

 I was particularly taken with the wind on the water and in the reeds!
Ethan loved the visit (here he is in my rain coat as we forgot his!!).
 At the end of the visit we had a good look at the onsite shop and Ethan chose an albatross to take home. "Albie" has become a firm favourite at home!
All in all we had a lovely visit to Zealandia and we will be back!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Day trip to Takaka

 While we were in New Zealand Ethan's Great Grandad was going to visit us in Wellington. Unfortunately due to health issues he was unable to make it. So as he couldn't come to us, we decided to take a day trip to see him!

This was the size aeroplane we have to go in to get to Takaka!
Despite being such a small plane it was still pretty comfortable. Grandad was up front with the pilot and Grandma, Jason, Ethan and I were in the back. Ethan even got to sit in his car seat strapped into the main seat!

We had some stunning views on the trip... here is was we got to see as we left Wellington!
Ethan wasn't as fussed on the scenery as the rest of us and decided to read some of the material the airline kindly supplied!
We got a very good view of Wellington's wind farm!
And some stunning shots of the Marlborough sounds. In the bottom right photo you can see the flood water and the normal water merging... stunning!
On our way into Takaka we hit some turbulance... Ethan LOVED it.... as you can see from his facial expressions!
We flew in over some lovely farmland!
And got to see Great Grandad (and get another 4 generation photo!).
Ethan was so excited as his Great Grandad pulled out some very old cars for him to keep! They are a firm favourite in this household now! Here we are enjoying some of the Takaka weather!
It was a short visit (just a day trip) and it was soon time to go! Here is Ethan with one of his new cars!
Ethan and Gran loved checking out the cows on the way out of Takaka airport!
And again we were treated with some stunning scenery!
The sun was getting lower as we left the South Island and the clouds were amazing.
Ethan had a massive day (missing his day sleep) and the buzz of the small plane just got the better of him... I never thought we would get a video like this one with our night owl son.... but this is what happens when you REALLY tire our little boy out!

For those with email notifications click here: video.

So we had an amazing day, visiting Great Grandad and being treated to a breathtaking flight to get there!